Gig tickets and specifically Ticketmaster are in the news in recent days due to the debacle over Taylor Swift's US tour dates.
Tickets for Swift's forthcoming 'Eras' tour were due to go on general sale on Friday - but Ticketmaster broke the hearts of thousands of fans by saying on Thursday that “Due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand, tomorrow’s public on-sale for Taylor Swift The Eras Tour has been cancelled.”
The ticketing company has raised eyebrows for implementing their 'Dynamic Pricing' structure - which allows them to alter the price of tickets depending on demand - in the past. The general idea, according to the company, is that selling the tickets at inflated prices will mean that the money goes to the artist and their team, rather than to a tout who may sell them for similar prices. It has been used most extensively in the US, where touting is a much bigger problem.
However, now that Bruce Springsteen (aka The Boss, aka Blue Collared Champion of the Common Man) has gone with dynamic pricing for his forthcoming tour with The E Street Band, fans have expressed their displeasure with both Ticketmaster and Springsteen.
The 73-year-old musician defended the ticket pricing model - which saw some tickets being sold for $5000 due to demand - in a new interview with Rolling Stone.
Springsteen said that in the past, he had sold tickets for 'a little less' than what everyone was charging - but now he feels it's time to raise the prices.
“What I do is a very simple thing. I tell my guys, ‘Go out and see what everybody else is doing. Let’s charge a little less'," he said. "That’s generally the directions. They go out and set it up. For the past 49 years or however long we’ve been playing, we’ve pretty much been out there under market value. I’ve enjoyed that. It’s been great for the fans."
He added: "This time I told them, ‘Hey, we’re 73 years old. The guys are there. I want to do what everybody else is doing, my peers.’ So that’s what happened. That’s what they did."
He acknowledged that the system had become 'very confusing' for fans, but that "the bottom line is that most of our tickets are totally affordable. They’re in that affordable range. We have those tickets that are going to go for that [higher] price somewhere anyway. The ticket broker or someone is going to be taking that money. I’m going, ‘Hey, why shouldn’t that money go to the guys that are going to be up there sweating three hours a night for it?’
"I know it was unpopular with some fans. But if there’s any complaints on the way out, you can have your money back."
Springsteen and the E Street Band play Dublin's RDS next May (5th, 7th and 9th), with all three dates sold out. Ticket prices ranged from €96-€156 for seated, and €131 for standing - before fees.
It's a marked difference from the last time that Springsteen played Dublin - at Croke Park in 2016 - when prices started at €65.